For those who make New Year’s Resolutions, this is about the time that those resolutions tend to fall by the wayside. Rarely do resolutions make their way beyond a week or two – life and old habits tend to get in the way.
Part of the reason for this is that “resolutions” typically lack one extremely critical ingredient – commitment. The desire is there, and usually the need is there. But resolutions have a tendency to be “have to” as if we are pushing ourselves to do something that we really don’t want to do. And when we feel pushed, we push back. Our creativity goes into overdrive to get us out of what we “have to” do.
The past couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about taking control of ourselves, and as much of the world around us that we can. We’ve talked about how we look at the world and our lives, if we are optimists or pessimists. We have also talked about taking personal accountability for our decisions and actions.
What we’ve been talking about is setting goals for what we want for the future. Here is where resolutions and goals part company. Goals are a commitment we make to ourselves to get where we want to go. And when we make our goals statements of fact, and fill them with action and emotion and purpose, we are creating an irresistible, magnetic draw to our future.
So, if you’ve made New Year’s Resolutions, and they are showing signs of fading into oblivion, go back to them and take a closer look. Do you see words and phrases like, “really would like to,” or “wouldn’t it be nice if I could,” or maybe even the word “should” with anything? (FYI, “should” is just another word for “have to.”) These are fuzzy words and they create fuzzy pictures.
Take each resolution and consign the fuzzy language to the trash heap. Put in words that drive a picture with a healthy dose of positive emotion. See yourself in this new picture, succeeding at whatever it is that you want to change in you. And if you don’t mind the suggestion, cross out the word “Resolution” and write in “Goals.”